The Robotex17 competition, being organised for the first time in Cyprus this year, hopes to highlight the importance of the island keeping up with technological developments, organisers said on Tuesday.
The Pancyprian competition will take place on June 25 in Nicosia.
“The competition aims to upgrade the field of educational robotics, to introduce robotics technology in the educational process at all levels and to enhance the scientific fields of Stem recognising the importance of coding skills and their contribution in the opening of new career and employment horizons,” President of the Cyprus Computer Society Costas Agrotis said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Michalis Papadopoulos of Cyta, the main sponsor and strategic partner of Robotex 2017, said that more cooperation was needed if Cyprus wanted to keep up with technological developments and the event was one way that this could be helped come about.
“In the area of Stem, science, technology, engineering and mathematics we have stayed behind,” Head of the organising committee of the Robotex challenge Panicos Masouras said. “That’s why we need to catch up and to work together to improve.”
“We need to go forward to develop different mindsets so our young people will become scientists that we can be proud of,” said Giorgos Georgiou, president of the scientific committee.
Masouras and Georgiou went on to explain how Robotex would work. Teams should consist of two to four members. So far 65 teams have enrolled, and the organisers hope for more than 100.
There are six different age groups, from pupils in first to third grade of elementary school to adults of any age.
Challenges are according to age. “We are not doing the complicated ones, we are just starting as a country so we need to start with the simple ones,” Georgiou explained.
This time, the robots will have tasks such as moving through a maze or navigating traffic to reach a designated parking space in a city, a challenge called ‘city passing’ and ‘Lego sumo’ where two robots ‘wrestle’ with each other. The youngest teams have to develop a robot with the theme ‘Robots in our life’, meaning the robot should make our lives easier in some way.
Between 27 and 45 of the winning teams get to take part in the world competition Robotex 2017 in Estonia and local universities are offering scholarships for the best secondary school team.
Robotex17 will take place at the Costas Papaellinas Athletic centre in Strovolos, Nicosia on June 25. Participants can enrol free of charge until May 25. For more information visit www.robotex.org.cy